Dawson Trail Heritage Tour : Art on the Trail - Call for Public Art Proposals, Submission Deadline May 30

Dawson Trail Arts and Heritage Tour - Commemorative Project

Art on the Trail – Call for Public Art Proposals

Location: Red River Coop, Lorette, MB

Project Timeline

Issue Date: May 9, 2022

Response Deadline: May 30, 2022

Expected Award: June 7th, 2022

Expected Delivery: June – September 30, 2022

Budget: $30,000, plus taxes

(approx. value, to be determined commensurate with scope and scale of project)

Context and Art Opportunity Overview

The Dawson Trail Arts and Heritage Tour is a sub-committee of the Dawson Trail Museum, dedicated to the celebration of the artistic, cultural and historic assets of the communities located along the Dawson Trail, now known as the Dawson Road or PTH 207. Our efforts are two-fold and include:

  • Year-round promotional support to a collective of artists and artisans in the region, and the hosting of an annual art tour in September to showcase the artistic talents of our community;
  • Celebrating the natural, cultural and historic legacy of the Dawson Trail. We have created a rich repository of research on our website at www.dawsontrailtreasures, and encourage the sharing of this legacy through self-guided arts and heritage tours of the region, supported by the development in 2022, of a permanent interpretive trail plan, including trail markers and exhibits, throughout our communities.

With the celebration of the Dawson Trail's 150th anniversary in 2021, we believe there has never been a better time to honour this important chapter of our shared history with permanent exhibits that will serve as evidence of the Dawson Trail's value to Manitoba, Canada and its people. This is an interregional project that stretches from Winnipeg (St. Boniface) to the North West angle (Harrison's Creek) and will positively impact all the rural communities along the way.

To this end, our Steering Committee along with host partners at the Red River Coop in Lorette, are seeking local artists/team submissions to create a permanent, public art exhibit at the corner of Laramée Drive and the Dawson Road (PTH207) located in the LUD of Lorette, Manitoba. The interpretive content will explore the ingenuity of the Red River cart as well as the Métis heritage, specifically as it relates to their spirit in trade, entrepreneurship and kinship. This exhibit is meant to complement the interpretive content and existing Red River cart installation that can be found at this site.

Historical context:

Interpretive content in support of the Dawson Trail history can be found on our website at www.dawsontrailtreasures.ca. See also the attached for additional context/overview.

Project Summary

Submissions are sought for an artistic proposal to design and build an outdoor exhibit that will stand just East of, or in front of, the existing Red River cart installation currently found at the corner of Laramée Drive and the Dawson Road (PTH 207) in Lorette. The space allocated for the proposed exhibit is approximately 30' in length and sits at approximate 20' south of the Dawson Road.

The work will render the artist's vision or artistic representation of an oxen silhouette and incorporate a designated structure or space to affix or install four interpretive panels that will be provided with content specific to the chosen theme (as described above under "context") along with possible insight into the artistic exhibit. Exact dimensions and design of panels will be confirmed at a later date but each panel is estimated to be approximately 40"H x 20" w. These must be incorporated in the proposal submissions. The Dawson Trail Commemorative Project will provide the interpretive writing and cover costs for graphic layout and printing of the interpretive panels. In addition to these considerations, the selection committee would like to see an added visual or artistic element that is indicative of the Métis culture, colours, or heritage.

The proposed artwork/installation should complement the environment and existing landscape. The use of natural resources or plants typical to the region may also be considered.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for collaborative work with other artists, architect or design teams but must remain the lead and liaison for the project.

The selected artist will create the permanent artwork and have it installed at the Red River Coop Lorette site by no later than September 30, 2022. The responsibility for the installation of the proposed exhibit remains with the artist, however, the Dawson Trail Commemorative Project can provide assistance in recommending local contractors.

The proposed exhibit installation must be structurally safe, sound and durable. Certified architect/engineer stamps will be required for the final design/structure and are the responsibility of the artist, however, the Dawson Trail Commemorative Project may provide assistance in providing the architect/engineer contacts for stamped approval of the proposed installation.

The ideal proposal will include the use of durable materials and a finish that will reasonably protect the surface from general wear for a period of up to 10 years or more. Protection against elements such as wind, rain, and the sun should be considered in the final design, use of materials and/or finish.

The size of the proposed exhibit installation is left to the artist's discretion, so long as it does not surpass the space allotment. Height restrictions have not been identified but must respect municipal by laws.

Requirements and Criteria

  • Artistic merit of the proposed artwork;
  • Qualifications and professional experience of the artist;
  • Ability to creatively interpret the key themes proposed in a manner than is relevant to the value and culture of the community;
  • Suitability of the artwork to the proposed site and outdoor display, including its maintenance and durability;
  • Realistic project timelines;
  • Detailed and realistic budget;
  • Expressed sensitivity to the site and context;
  • Ability to complete and install the project by September 30th, 2022;
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully execute a project of this scale and within the budget and timeline set out;
  • Strength of supporting material and/or past projects;
  • Appropriateness of the scale of the artwork;
  • How closely the proposed artwork meets the goals set out in the RFP and envisioned by the community;
  • Local considerations will be viewed as an asset by the selection committee (i.e.: artists who operate or reside within the Dawson Trail communities, members of the Dawson Trail Art Tour, etc.).

How to Apply

Artists wishing to be considered must submit the following supporting materials as a complete package:

  • Written expression of interest (maximum 1 page). Describe your interest in this particular work. Speak to your experience and ability to create artwork for the public realm. Highlight your qualifications and experience working with site-specific artwork and construction and design professionals, as well as your ability to successfully execute a project of this scale within the budget and timeline set out above. For collaborative works, please specify your roles in the creation/execution of the work.
  • Art Concept and Installation Details, 500-1000 words max (attach a word/PDF file). Be sure to include dimensions, materials, and as much detail as possible. Provide a project timeline from design stage through final installation.
  • Project Visual Support Materials – include drawings/sketches or digital images to support your submission. Note that proposal materials will not be returned.
  • Project Budget (1 page max). Please include a breakdown of all cost including your expected renumeration, with justification if it extends beyond the budget identified. Your budget breakdown should also include a schedule of timelines for work to be completed and the names of sub-contractors that are being considered, if applicable.
  • Curriculum Vitae and Statement of Artistic Activities (maximum 4 pages) Submit a CV and statement of artistic activities.
  • References. Provide name, address, phone and e-mail for two references who can speak to your art/design practice, and interest and/or ability to delivery art commissions and/or art for public spaces. (A letter of reference is not required at this time).
  • Support Materials. Up to 5 digital images that are representative of your work for the Selection Committee to review. Please include documentation or related and/or public sited artworks if applicable. Note that support materials will not be returned.

Send applications to:

Dawson Trail Heritage Tour - Commemorative Trail Initiative

Via email at dawsontrailtourmb@gmail.com with the subject line Dawson Trail Art Exhibit: Red River Coop Lorette

Complete applications must be received on or before May 30th, 2022 at 5pm.

Incomplete, late, mailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.


We thank all applicants for their interests however, only successful applicants will be notified in writing of the selection committee's choice by June 7th.

A contract will be signed between the Dawson Trail Arts and Heritage Steering Committee and the awarded applicant that will outline services, fees charged and payment schedule. This contract will contain provisions including but not limited to rights of ownership and use. The completed installation will be the property of the Dawson Trail Arts and Heritage Tour but the moral and copy rights remain with the artist. A retainer fee will be disbursed to the awarded artist. All work produced will be accredited to the artist/team.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of host partners (RRC Lorette), expert-consultants, selected members of the Steering Committee, and potentially, guest jurors with related experience.

*Please note that the Dawson Trail Arts and Heritage Tour is not compelled to award this contest based on applications received. We reserve the right to choose to not recommend any application, proposal or finalist and to terminate or re-advertise any project.

** The awarded artist or team will be expected to develop a maintenance program in cooperation with the commissioning agency, for the proper day-to-day care of the artwork. The maintenance program should include a statement regarding the materials from which the piece is fabricated. The commissioning agency will be responsible for communicating this information to its custodial staff and providing any necessary additional tools or equipment to ensure proper daily maintenance of public artworks.

*** The awarded artist will be responsible for transporting their artwork to the site and its installation, including the necessary removal of the artwork due to disrepair or the committee's decision.